[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 23
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]

Carl Kanowsky, Esq.

Carl Kanowsky, Esq.

I was sitting in my downtown Los Angeles office, located above the Chinese restaurant. The smells of fried food and MSG wafted up to me, and I was thinking about the waitress with the great set of wheels I saw at lunch when I heard it: RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT.

I jumped and reached for my gat when I realized it wasn’t gunfire. Someone was knocking. Thank God it wasn’t a repeat of yesterday.

I opened the door to a big lummox – he didn’t appear too bright; probably related to a lawyer – who said in a thick voice, “You’se Phillip Marlowe?”

I glanced at the name on the door and looked back at him before I replied, “Yeah, Einstein.”

He smiled like he had one on me and said, “You’ve been served, wise guy,” and handed me a bunch of papers.

After the moose left, I looked at the lawsuit and called my attorney, Jim Howe of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe. I explained to Jim that the cruise line, Gotcha Cruises, was suing me in Florida.

You see, I took my dame Blondie on a worldwide journey after the Mafia decided to pay me a million seemolians to keep me quiet.

While on the journey, Blondie caught a chest cold and died. I told my credit card company not to honor the charge because of Gotcha’s negligence.

I ignored the letters from Gotcha’s attorneys demanding I pay or else get sued. I asked Jim the attorney if Gotcha could really require me to go to court in Florida.

“Yeah, Marlowe, they can,” he said.

California courts will generally uphold what are known as “forum selection clauses” in contracts. But I had no idea this little trap was hidden in the four-page contract that was my cruise ticket. That thing was much too boring to read, much less understand.

Jim, to my dismay, told me that failure to read the contract or being told the clause was “take-it-or-leave-it” were not reasons not to enforce the clause.

In fact, in the 2004 case, Schlessinger v. Holland America, dozens of passengers who got sick while on an Alaskan cruise tried to file a class-action lawsuit in California against the cruise line. The California Court of Appeal threw out the case, saying that since the cruise contract required litigation to be in Washington, that’s where the plaintiffs would have to go.

That’s when I got really worried. I had signed a contract to provide protection for this bombshell starlet Lotta Tosee in Chicago, where she lives.

Her talents began and ended with her appearance, but the studios would pay me big money to keep her safe. I had watched over her for three months, and she came out of it alive – just a few broken bones from the accident we got in while I was driving after having a few toots of rye. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

Now the studios were stiffing me almost $75,000 because of the accident.

When I went back and looked at the contract, I saw a section titled, “Forum Selection.” It said I agreed to the jurisdiction of the courts of New York, and all disputes would be in New York City applying New York law.

I had seen that when I first read the contract, but figured since the contract was for $125,000, I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff, like if I would have to sue the studios. I hadn’t even shown Jim the contract before I signed it.

When I told him about all of this, he threatened to fire me as a client.

“Phillip, you idiot, I routinely get those clauses changed to California. You should have talked me. But now it’s too late. You’re going to have to travel to New York, pay to have Lotta fly back there, and pay all of her expenses just to have her testify. It’s going to cost you more to litigate this than what the studios owe you.”

Now, I know. I ain’t never gonna blindly sign a contract without checking with Jim.

(While the facts in this are false, the law is good. See, I’m not a private eye. I’m a business and real estate attorney here in Santa Clarita.)


Carl Kanowsky of Kanowsky & Associates is an attorney in the Santa Clarita Valley. He may be reached by email at cjk@kanowskylaw.com. Nothing contained herein shall be or is intended to be construed as providing legal advice.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Friday, Mar 16, 2018
Quentin Kopp, retired judge and Bay Area politician, was once chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority and helped sell the bullet train to voters. He’s now suing to stop it, saying, "The litigation, which is pending, will result, I am confident, in the termination of the High-Speed Rail Authority's deceiving plan."
Thursday, Mar 8, 2018
A wildfire stripped the banks of Placerita Creek of its thick, lush blanket of green – exposing thousands of shoots of the evil tamarisk.
Friday, Mar 2, 2018
In her March 2018 message, Mayor Laurene Weste outlines why Santa Clarita is a tech-savvy "smart city" and previews coming upgrades in street lighting, recycling stations and the local fiber-optic network.
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018
There was broad public support for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which struck a careful balance between lands available for large-scale renewable energy development and the environment. Now the federal government is rethinking it - putting the important and much-needed protections at risk.
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018
You can prevent vision loss by finding and treating problems early. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter SCV Group Chair Sandra Cattell urges Santa Clarita Valley residents to contact their congressional representatives to push legislation to kill the Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The SCV Man and Woman of the Year honor is awarded annually to individuals who have given many years of outstanding volunteer service to charitable organizations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Man, Woman of Year to be Named May 11; Tickets on Sale
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]
Homicide investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are dedicated to solving murders and putting suspects behind bars.
Canyon Country Man One of Two Arrested for 2017 Palmdale Stabbing Death
Asteady downpour and gray skies couldn't keep 44 chili chefs and a crowd of hungry guests away from Tuesday's Charity Chili Cook-off at Wolf Creek Brewery in Valencia.
Rainy-day Chili Warms the Heart for School Libraries
For 30 maybe 40 minutes after The Master's University returned to it locker room inside the bowels of Municipal Auditorium, Lawrence Russell sat at his locker.
NAIA Men’s Basketball All-Americans Include 3 Mustangs
The list of California State University, Northridge’s Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients is diverse and dynamic. In keeping with that theme, the university is adding three highly accomplished honorees from three different walks of life to the list in April.
CSUN Announces Recipients of Distinguished Alumni Awards
Enjoy a scenic ride through the Heritage Valley where the fragrance of orange and lemon blossoms are delightful, April 1, at 12:00 p.m on Fillmore & Western Railway's Easter Lunch Train.
April 1: Fillmore & Western Railway’s Easter Lunch Train
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a Study Session Monday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m.
March 26: Arts Commission Study Session
Barnes & Noble Valencia will be holding a Children's Story Time event, Saturday, March 31 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
March 31: ‘Ernest Hummingbird’ Book Reading, Signing at Barnes & Noble
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
April 21: Foster/Foster-Adopt a Child Information Meeting
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) continues to staff emergency shelters for animals and respond to requests for assistance due to the rainstorm event.
County Providing Emergency Animal Services During Storm
After a lengthy, valleywide search, the Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts is proud to announce its inaugural Board of Directors.
Newhall Family Theatre Announces Inaugural Board of Directors
Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted unanimously to consider building on the success of a pilot program that deployed two outreach teams along the Red Line to help homeless individuals aboard buses and trains, and in and around transit stations, obtain housing and other services.
Homeless Outreach Pilot Program Demonstrating its Worth
The Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) will host its annual Moving Day North LA, A Walk for Parkinson’s on April 28 during National Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Awareness Month.
April 28: Moving Day North LA Walk for Parkinson’s
There are still a few days left to purchase tickets and be eligible to win a brand new car, a 2018 Chevy Cruze, MSRP $22,385.
March 26: Deadline to Purchase WiSH Foundation’s Win a Car Tickets
Mandatory evacuations of the 8300 block to the 9000 block of La Tuna Canyon remain in effect. The following picture, taken one mile north of the 8300 block of La Tuna Canyon, is within the area that has been evacuated. No structures were damaged due to the erosion of this hillside.
Storm Causes Hillside Erosion in La Tuna Canyon Burn Area
When Master's coach Jason Semelsberger explained that his team finished in 11th place on Tuesday in large part because of a loaded field, it wasn't a throwaway line meant to make the Mustangs feel better or to pacify their fans. It was the truth.
Mustangs Hang Tough in Competitive Field
SACRAMENTO - Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley on Wednesday introduced a senate resolution - Senate Resolution 96 - calling on the federal government to stop, once and for all, the proposed Cemex mega-mine near Santa Clarita and bring an end to a decades old battle between residents and the multinational conglomerate.
Wilk Bill Calls on Feds to End Cemex Mega-Mine
Chandra Subramaniam spent his first week as the new dean of California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics in meeting after meeting, learning about the job and the people he’ll be working with.
CSUN Names New Dean of Nazarian Business College
The North Los Angeles County Transportation Coalition is hosting a workshop with representatives from the city of Lancaster, city of Palmdale, city of Santa Clarita, and the County of Los Angeles, to showcase the improvement projects to come as a result of the transportation funding provided by Measure M.
April 2: Measure M Community Outreach Meeting
Working through a series of challenging circumstances including fires, weather and mudslides that struck the region, Lundgren Management successfully completed the Santa Barbara City College West Campus Center Project in time for classes to begin on Jan. 22.
Valencia-Based Construction Firm Completes Santa Barbara City College Project
SACRAMENTO - Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 19 (SJR 19) today calling on Congress to uphold its end of the bargain and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a program focusing on disabled students. The measure passed the Senate 37-0 and is headed to the State Assembly for consideration.
Wilk’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Heads to State Assembly
With the upcoming retirement of Cynthia Seamands, principal of Live Oak Elementary, there will be some administrative changes for the 2018-19 school year. Effective July 1, 2018, Stephanie Beach, principal of Castaic Elementary School, will assume the duties of principal of Live Oak Elementary School.
Live Oak Elementary Appoints New Principal
Due to updated weather conditions and a projected decrease in the amount of rainfall expected, the mandatory evacuations for Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon, and Little Tujunga, which were to be in effect at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, were cancelled.
Mandatory, Voluntary Evacuations Remain in Effect for La Tuna Canyon Burn Areas
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
A flash flood watch will be in effect from 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 5 a.m. due to heavy rain expected over the next couple of days, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Flash Flood Watch in Effect Wednesday PM to Friday AM
Radio station 88.5 FM/Los Angeles, Southern California’s leading Triple-A (adult album alternative) format station and headquartered at California State University, Northridge, is adding Andy Chanley to its afternoon drive spot.
88.5 FM/Los Angeles Adds Andy Chanley to PM Drive
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control encourages all pet owners to make their homes pet-safe during National Poison Prevention Week, now through Saturday, March 24.
March 18-24: National Pet Poison Prevention Week
The family-friendly Gilchrist Farm in Bouquet Canyon will host its annual egg hunt and Spring Fling on Saturday, March 31.
March 31: Egg Hunt, Spring Fling at Gilchrist Farm
Weather permitting, CSUN beach volleyball is scheduled to host a pair of tri-duals this week as the Matadors host Cal State LA and No. 19 Washington on Wednesday followed by No. 15 Loyola Marymount and top-ranked Pepperdine on Thursday.
Matadors Face Trio of Ranked Teams in Beach Volleyball Tri-Duals
CSUN's softball team will host the Matador Classic this weekend with Cal Poly, Pacific, Santa Clara and Georgia Tech all visiting the Matador Diamond in Northridge.
March 23-25: CSUN Softball Team to Host Matador Classic
Fale Avin's two-out RBI single in the top of the 11th sent No. 5 Oklahoma past the CSUN softball team 2-1 Monday afternoon.
No. 5 Oklahoma Edges CSUN Softball Team 2-1 in 11 Innings
No. 4/5 Notre Dame shot 54.8 percent (40-of-73) from the field as the Fighting Irish defeated CSUN 99-81 in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Friday night.
No. 4/5 Notre Dame Defeats CSUN 99-81
CSUN senior Arvis Greene picked up his second consecutive Big West Player of the Week award in men's volleyball Monday after leading the then-No. 10 Matadors to a pair of upset wins over No. 3 Hawai'i last week.
CSUN’s Arvis Greene Repeats as Big West Player of the Week
Mental and physical agility, resourcefulness and a never-say-die spirit are just a few of the survival traits needed for participants to succeed in the inaugural Bear Grylls Survival Challenge April 28 and 29 at the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch.
April 28-29: First Bear Grylls Survival Challenge at Blue Cloud Movie Ranch
Kameron Quitno safely slid across the plate for the first home run of his collegiate career, sparking the TMU Mustangs to a 13-4 win over visiting Bethesda University on Tuesday at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
Mustang Baseball Rides Home Runs to Non-Conference Win